Energisa and Copel say interested in Brazil's Rede Energia

Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:52pm EDT

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By Anna Flavia Rochas

SAO PAULO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Energy companies Energisa SA and Copel are interested in buying Brazil's Grupo Rede Energia SA, an Energisa executive told Reuters on Wednesday, joining the list of potential buyers of the cash-strapped power company.

Rede Energia last week signed a letter of understanding for a possible purchase of the company by Brazilian utilities CPFL Energia and Equatorial Energia. Those two companies have said that together they have exclusive negotiating rights for the purchase until the end of the year.

"It is in our interest to deliver an alternative proposal and I believe it is also in the interest of the concessionaires to analyze which is the best proposal," Energisa's head of investment relations, Mauricio Botelho, told Reuters.

He added that Energisa and Copel had informed both the controlling shareholder of Rede Energia and energy regulator Aneel about their interest in the company.

In late August, Aneel seized eight units of Rede Energia in an effort to prevent a halt in electricity service in six states.

The seized units - power distributors located in various regions across the country - are all experiencing serious financial and operational problems.

Equatorial Energia in September agreed to acquire Celpa, the only Rede Energia unit the regulator had not seized, for the token sum of 1 real. Celpa, a power distributor in the northeastern state of Para, was already under bankruptcy restructuring when the regulator seized the other units. (Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by Carol Bishopric and Edmund Klamann)